Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Life is SO Big!

It's really kind of amazing. My life has always been pretty big in dog terms, but lately it just seems SO BIG!

First, I got a brother that I love so much. I don't even know what I did before this brother. We do SO MANY things together. We play:

We watch YoshiVision:

We take naps with Daddy:

Mommy has taught me a lot about loving, and how the more you love the more love you have to love other, new people. I admit I was skeptical at first. I mean, really. Who needs brothers? Who even needs friends?

After all, solitude is good, right?

 (mommy and daddy will never have nice furniture. never.)
Being alone is just fine.

Besides, brothers break your heart sometimes, and who wants that?

But mom says that when you share something, it gets bigger, not smaller. So if I share all my brother love from Boo with Bradley, it turns into BIGGER love that I can share with others. I like that. Besides, it means there's someone to take the fall for you...

and someone to bring a little fun into a kind of average sort of day, even if they have thumbs and are a Girl.

It means you are never, ever alone

Mom says you're never, ever alone, not even when you want to go potty or lie down on the couch just for two minutes, even. But I think that's a lot better than being alone. Plus, who wants to go potty alone?!?

I mean, after all, we're all better off when we have someone to share things with us right? I think Mom is onto something with this who sharing the love thing.

Or I thought she was. Until today.

This is Mandy.

Mandy is something called a Shih Tzu, AND she's a GIRL, which is so gross. Mom says she is going to stay with us for a while until her human-dad gets out of the hospital. She says that Mandy needs us right now. Mandy has never really been a dog, never had a pack, and never had food like Bradley and I have. She doesn't even eat bones! Can you imagine? Mom says she "needs to lose a few", and Mom is going to help her do that.

Well, I don't like GIRLS, and I say this is my brother, and we do BROTHER stuff and we don't have time for some dumb old sister, even if she is a foster sister who goes back home someday. Nope. We are brothers. No sisters for us.

In fact, I can't even see the smelly old sister thing. HAH. That will show her! I'll let you know later if my plan of ignoring her makes her go away. I sure hope so. I mean, love has it's limits after all. GIRL limits.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What Did I Do Before?

Before I had a brother, I know I did things, but what were they? They could not have been as cool as NOW! Yesterday we had a big fight over bones. I know that brother stole my beef bone, and I did not forget it. I waited a while, but then I got angry at him. This time he got angry back at me. I was very, VERY sad. I have been much less angry since then. No one has ever gotten angry back before, except mom. I am not scared of him. Not at all. But I decided that he can come into the bedroom now. And I let him sit on my side of the car. Mom said I "needed to get my clock cleaned for once". I did not know I had a clock.

Bradley even likes being loved, which is kind of strange. He asks for love on purpose. Mom and Dad seem to like this. I am still not going to change my mind on the subject, so they can love him all they want. Gross!

And he plays frisbee with Dad, and brings it back. I do not understand. I make DAD go get the ball after a time or two, but Bradley acts like it's fun to fetch things.

Yesterday Mom gave that brother a new beef bone, and he growled at her, so then she did the same thing she used to do to me - she put it down then took it away, put it down, took it away, over and over and over, while telling him that it was HER bone and he could only have it if she said. After a while he did not even raise his lip at her, and waited for her to say he could touch it. I came over to see what was going on, and his lip came up again. So then Mom made him do the whole thing over - put it down, take it away, put it down, take it away! I am really glad to know that she makes him do the same stuff she makes ME do. And I liked watching him suffer, I will admit. I sat there and watched until Daddy made me go away and stop being a pest. I think his name may be 'Bradley Leave It', just like my name is 'Yoshi Leave It'!

This morning mom took us for a hike in the WOODS! We saw a bunny, a turkey, a squirrel and a LOT of bugs. We smelled a million things. Bradley found a dead thing, but because Mom had the leash on him he did not roll in it. But we both wanted to. Mom said we have enough dead things at home. Lies!

We got very filthy in the mud, and waded in a stream. Bradley LIKES WATER! Mom dragged me in, too and I splashed and squirmed and jumped right out. Who DOES that?? On PURPOSE!? We walked on trails with weird names. Some of them were footpaths and others were so wide you could drive a car on them. There were fallen trees and a lot of water in all of the streams and low spots. It was very buggy in the woods, and after a mile mom said she'd had enough - actually she used a bad word when she said it - and we headed back to the car on more trails with weird names. I want to go there again. We have been here before. Mom says she and Dad used to go there all of the time with Kioshi, but then when Boo came they stopped going as much because he was so scared of all the things. I am not scared of any of the things. Neither is Bradley!

When we got home Mom turned on the shower and went to get a towel. When she came back Bradley was IN the shower! She decided that was a sign that we both needed baths, so she got MORE towels and gave ALL of us a shower. I think the shower is better than the bathtub, but I still do NOT like baths. Bradley acted like it was the best thing ever. After we all had showers, and had turned the bathroom into what Mom called 'a flood zone', Bradley and I raced all over the house. We shook and jumped and played. Then Bradley did this:

And Mom was so busy laughing at him, because before this he was rolling around and burrowing in the cushions and being generally adorable (I even laughed at him myself!) that she could not tell him to get off, and just took a picture instead.

All in all I think the brother thing could work out for me. It is really nice to have someone to do stuff with. This brother is not like Boo. Boo never wanted to go anywhere because he was blind. Bradley wants to go EVERYWHERE, and that makes all the places more fun. Mom and Dad are great, but they are different than me. Bradley has four feet instead of two, and he has fur, and he likes the things I like. I never see Mom and Dad with a raw bone, for example. And Mom never tries to roll in dead things. She acts like she can't even smell them. But Bradley loves them, just as much as I do! And he rides in the back seat with me, so it isn't as lonely back there now. I like him. When he does not take my stuff.

Now I think I will rest a bit. But don't think I am asleep - nope, not me! Bradley can sleep. I am just resting my eyes a little.

Brother or no brother, I am still ready to take on ALL the things ANY time!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brother From Another Mother

Saturday, June 29, 2013 2:35 p.m. -
Dear Diary,
This is Bradley. Mom says he is my brother. He is in MY HOUSE. Mom says it is not MY house. She says it is HER house. I will show her.

Mom is stupid. I do not like brothers. I hate him. I will kill him before sunrise, and all will be well. Then all the MINE will be ALL MINE again!

Love, Yoshi

Sunday, June 30, 2013 6:52 a.m. -
Dear Diary,

I LOVE HIM! We have always been best friends. I hope Mom lets him stay in her house forever! Mom is a GENIUS! I LOVE this dog. She does not understand me. When I said I would kill him, I just with him!

We played ball this morning. We ate raw dead animals for supper and breakfast. We helped Mom let out the chickens. Bradley wanted to eat them too. I told him that someday, when Mom is not watching, we will eat them ALL! Bradley is very good, and never does bad things. He even comes when mom calls him in the house. She says that she thinks someday he will be able to be like Boo; off of the leash for potty walks in the backyard. I never will be, because I am not afraid of ANYTHING. I think he's a little tame, but since he came when mom called I figured I'd better show up, too just to make sure he didn't step on mom's foot or get something better than I get.

This morning Mom gave us cookies when we practiced down and sit for her together, side by side. Then she cut our toenails. Bradley only needed a teeny snip off of his. Plus, he does not make any noise or anything when his are cut. I think he may be slow or something. He doesn't know that you're supposed to fight and try to kill people when they do that to you. In fact, he looked at me like I was a little strange when I did my usual act, with the screaming and the writhing and the trying to nip Dad while Mom cuts my nails. I found it very distracting, and could not put nearly as much effort into my performance as I usually do. But he is still MY BEST FRIEND! I am so glad I have a best friend!

Just... he better not touch MINE things. Or I will kill him before sunrise.

Love, Yoshi

(to be continued...)

(Mom says: Bradley is a 5 year old Golden Retriever. He was taken in and fostered by a local family for nearly two years. Although they loved Bradley very, very much, they knew that he needed more attention than he was getting in a three dog household with a busy lifestyle. He loves to swim and walk/hike and play ball. He's beautifully behaved and placid in nature, tolerant of change and - most importantly - of obstreperous snotty Shibas. He balances our family perfectly. He's got lots of youthful enthusiasm, but it's moderated by some maturity. Although we'd planned to get a puppy, it became apparent that our lifestyle right now does not admit the high demands of managing a puppy and a spoiled Yoshi. Bradley is the right dog at the right time, and we adore him!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Summertime by Me, Yoshi.

During the day here it is kind of boring. I have to entertain myself a lot. For example, I have to get my own ball from under the tv and book thing. Mom actually IGNORES me when I ask her to get it for me!
 Mom says this is just "the way it is" and I have to "deal with it". She says that she has to work again for a while. I do not like her work.
 She also has been gone a lot either to the hospital in someplace called Springfield where dogs cannot go, or to Grandpa's house. At first I was not allowed to go to Grandpa's house. She said he had surgery and was not ready to handle me.
 As if I need handling? I do not need to be handled. I need to be rubbed and paid attention to, yes. But handled - I may be diva but let's not get too carried away!
 I tried to get Mr. Moose into the whole ball chasing thing, but he really didn't seem to care. (Honest, this was a Moose. Boo ate off it's ears and antlers and all that's left is a stump that looks like a Monkey, but it isn't; it's Mr. Moose)
 It takes longer when I have to get the ball out by myself.
 But somehow it seems more satisfying. I did it ALL by MYSELF!
 Sometimes Mom is right even when I think she's wrong. Sometimes in the evenings we go for a walk at my favorite walking place. There's this bridge...
 and there's trains at the end of the walk. Sometimes there are lots of them, and sometimes just a few.
 Today Dad rode his bike and met us at the car. Then Mom drove me to my newest favorite place on earth. Can you guess why I love this place?
 First I have to be very patient and "Wait" which is mommy's second favorite thing, right after "Leave It!" But then if I am good she says "Go ahead"....
 so I do! Maybe this summer isn't so bad after all! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Do I, or Don't I?

Sometimes people ask Mom if I shed. Because I consider this to be a very personal question, my general response is something like this:

"I am sorry. I didn't hear you. Were you talking?"

Mom is more polite, and tells people that yes, I do shed. Sometimes she says "A LOT!" and the people make a face. Sometimes they ask how much and she says something like "Well, twice a year Shibas, 'blow coat'. When that happens he sheds TONS!" She says that it's something people should know about before they get a dog. Some dogs need more care than others, apparently. I need ALL the care. Mom brushes me about once a week most of the time, but when I blow coat? She brushes me at LEAST twice a day. She wants me to tell ALL the people thinking about Shibas that they should know this. She says that when she and Dad were looking for a dog, and decided on a Shiba, one of the things they thought was "Oh, that would be awesome, like Kioshi (the Akita), but smaller, and with less hair!"

(24 hours worth of shed hair. Does not include brushed-out part scattered to four winds in backyard)

Well, I fooled them! Less is relative. So is smaller. Unless it's "less supper" which is a critical situation. Or "less MINE", because of course all of the things are MINE things. Less as compared to, say, a poodle.But as compared to the average dog, apparently I shed a lot. We're not going to get me started on "smaller". Just don't go there!

Mom sweeps every day and brushes me two to three times a day. Big chunks of my coat just come off in tufts. Mom says she could Love 2 Pet (it's like a Furminator, but it has a rake side, too) me til the cows come home, but I still manage to have more loose hair all over me. The furniture, their bed, my bed - all covered with a layer of peach-colored fluff. I say it's just my little gift of love to Mom, to help keep her busy and occupied. Plus, think of all the bird's nests in the neighborhood lined with warm, soft Shiba undercoat! I am an ENVIRONMENTALIST!

Do you shed? How much? (See. I told you. It's personal, isn't it?!)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week!

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. I thought I'd use my canine soap box of a blog to help people learn ways to stay safe around strange or aggressive-acting dogs. When Mom was a little girl, she got bit by the neighbor's dog. She had to have stitches in her arm. The dog had been behaving badly toward a lot of people for a long time, and after he bit Mom he had to take, as Mom says, The Long Walk. I think that means someone killed him, which is probably ok with me - if someone bit my Mom now, I'D want to kill them!

 (And I could, too, because I am super-feral! GRR! I am also blowing coat, so the whole house, my blanket, and Mom and Dad's clothes are covered in loose hairy bits)

Anyway, Mom says that Grampa had told her to just stand still, and she was trying to, but the girl she was playing with started yelling and waving her arms at the dog to shoo him away. Mom got scared because the dog just started getting louder and angrier, and she started to run to the other girl's house. The dog knocked her down in the snow, and Mom covered her head and neck with her arms. The dog went crazy trying to get Mom's throat or neck. She felt the dog bite into her arm really hard, and then she says her arm felt cold. Then the dog went to her legs and started attacked them. The other little girl ran inside and got her mom. She got the dog to get off of MY mom and got her into the house. She had to go to the hospital, and then the doctor said that Nana and Grampa had to watch Mom for signs of rabies. Her snowsuit was ruined, too, and her legs were all scratched and bruised. Luckily she never did start foaming at the mouth, or I guess she would have been taking The Long Walk, too! Mom has developed a pathological fear of rabies as a result of this whole thing, but oddly she's not at all afraid of dogs. Mom's one tough cookie, I think.

Since Mom told me this story I've thought a lot about dogs and biting, and I hope you will take a few minutes to click on THIS LINK. It's all about a game you can play that is a great way to help kids stay safe around strange or angry-acting dogs. It's true that dogs are attracted to noise and movement. I know that when the baby chicks make noise, or the bunny hops in the yard, I go blind-mad with the instinct to kill. I barely hear Mom, and she's... well, she's MOM!

There's other things you can do to help kids -and yourself - stay safe around dogs.

Learn the right way to pet a dog. You can click on the link to learn more about hot to pet dogs, but the short version goes something like this:

First, always ask the owner or handler before touching a dog, no matter how friendly or cute the dog is. Second, let the dog sniff you first - offer us the back of your hand, below and in front of our nose. We'll do the rest. We don't like people just jumping in and assuming they're our BFF with lots of cuddly snuggly stuff. We want to know more about you first, and sniffing you is how we learn. Third, if we seem up for it and the owner says it's ok, pet us under my chin to start, not on the top of my head. If a dog acts dumb and growls, or flares it's lip at you slowly and calmly remove your hand. If the dog is on a leash, turn and walk slowly and calmly away.

You can also learn more about why picking on certain breeds with dumb laws isn't fair. Before I came here, Mom and Dad had Akitas. This made their house insurance very hard to get, and very expensive. But Kioshi never bit anyone. It didn't seem very fair to them, and it doesn't seem fair to me, either. I'm a Shiba, and according to the experts we're the closest genetic dog to the wolf. The dog that bit mom was a mixed breed. In fact, a lot of the time even people with lots of dog experience make mistakes, and label a dog with a breed that is doesn't belong to. The only way to know for sure is to test their DNA. Most dog bites are actually caused by mixed breeds or by small breeds - those little guys just don't have big enough teeth to make the news like a big dog does.

But now more about me - I am SO bored! Mom will not let me kill the baby chickens, which I think is dumb. She says I will like the meaty ones better if they grow longer, and the ones that make eggs are "off limits" until she does something she calls a cull, where most of the boys go into the freezer. She also put up a bird feeder right outside of the bedroom that causes my brain to explode from all the excitement. Birds and squirrels, all the time, on the bedroom Yoshivision!

I miss having a brother and do not like being alone. I sigh a lot. I want a brother or a sister that I can hike and walk with on the bike path; someone to steal my toys and someone I can flaunt my treats in front of. The cat doesn't care if I have a bone or not. The other day I had a whole turkey heart and no one even cared! Yesterday mom gave me a carrot stick, and there wasn't anyone to give it to. SO. BORED! Someone PLEASE find me a brand new brother or sister! Dad says we should wait six months. I think he's bonkers. I love Mom and Dad, but they're just not DOGS. They have each other. Why can't I have someone like me, too?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I Miss My Brother.

Boo is gone. He's not here any more. He was ten years and seven months old. Mom is kind of mopey and sad. Daddy seems better than she does on the outside, but I think he just lies better. I... I am tired. I am a lot quieter. I spent a lot of time making sure that mom knew whenever anything might threaten or scare Boo. Mom thought I was just being a bit of a twerp and making a ton of noise, but now she knows the truth.

Boo's Last Weeks

He got to the point where he just slept, or panted, or whined. That was mostly it for the last week. When mom and dad were in Virginia, about halfway through their trip, he got worse. Teach them to run off and play on the beach! Gerbil and Girl didn't tell them until they got home, but they knew it was almost time. He kept getting onto the slippery floor and then couldn't get up. His hips made crunching noises from his arthritis - mom called it "crepitus" which is a fancy way of saying "nasty crunching bone on bone sounds". His front legs were sore, and they shook a lot and he lapped them a lot, and that was really all he had to pull himself around with. He had an awful time on the stairs, and cried when he had to move very far. He was scared or sad or uncomfortable most of the time, but when they talked to him or pet him, he would try so hard to be happy. I felt bad for him sometimes, and other times I would try to MAKE him get up by racing around him in circles and yowling and shoving my head under his. Totally didn't work.

Boo with Daddy and Me Before He Got Worse Than "Not So Good"

When they got home, he didn't get better. They'd moved the circle of safety a couple of months ago, the rug Boo was on all the time, to make it as close to the water and the door as possible. They've been eating on the dining room table in the living room for a while now. It's reassuring to know that when I am old they will make all sorts of accommodation for me, I can tell you that! These people are serious soft touches! When they say forever home, they mean it.The worst was when on Friday morning when mom caught Mel swatting at him meanly, as if he was trying to "chase Boo onto the ice" as she said. I am not sure what that means, but since I am not a huge fan of ice on my feet I can make a guess. If you put me on ice, I'd just curl up and die. Mom said if she caught him again she'd put Mel on the ice. In defence of Mom, the cat was being really mean. Mom called our new vet, but they were booked and could not fit Boo in until Monday. They suggested we call our old vet, who'd known Boo since he was a baby. Mom called them, and they said it was no problem, and mom and dad could bring him down for 5pm on Friday. They did, and when they came back all they had was his collar and leash, which are under the table by where the circle of safety was. It's so I can smell him if I want. Sometimes I do. Today I sniffed it and sighed and then laid down right there, looking at them. I think I am getting kind of lonely.

Mom says Boo was little once. She said that she and dad got him off of an airplane. She said he was from the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition, which is why he came on an airplane and not in the car like I did when I came from Cape Cod Shibas. That's because Boo was a "rescue", which means they saved him from something. His mom was sick when she was pregnant with him. Mom says Doc suspected this because Boo's teeth were missing lots of enamel, and the easiest reason is that his mom had a lot of antibiotics when she was pregnant or nursing puppies. The drugs are bad for dogs' teeth.

Mom and Boo at Delta Cargo in Windsor Locks, CT

He was missing half of his tail, too. Doc said that sometimes a mother dog that has puppies alone and unsupervised will accidentally chew of a puppy's tail instead of it's umbilical cord. All of the other puppies in his litter had their tails, so that makes sense. He was kind of cute as a baby, I think, although nowhere near as cute as me as a baby. Who could be?

Mom and Kioshi and Boo

She also said that back then he had a sister, named Kioshi. I am going to let it slide that she named me something that sounds so close to that other dog's name. She said Kioshi was an Akita, and a girl. I know what those are because we are related. I am, however, more closely related to the wolf, which makes me much cooler. Mom says having Kioshi first got her ready for me. As if one needs preparation to have someone like me in their life!

Boo was scared and uncomfortable a lot, and it just took them a lot longer to figure it out. I knew. I've known for a long time. Since Boo died I have been very quiet. I don't alert to every sound any more. Mom says I am so easy to manage that it's kind of scary. I don't need to be alert now; there's really no one here needing protection. Mom can handle herself pretty well. Most of the time. Sometimes I have to try and step in, but she keeps reminding me that I don't need to, and frankly it gets old trying to be in charge. It's a lot easier to just let her be the boss.

December 2012
Anyway, now that he is gone I feel much better about the dopey Christmas pictures with the antlers and candy cane headgear. And also about mom and dad bawling all over us at Christmas while trying to pose for pictures.
 Mommy "Not Crying" with Boo and Me
Daddy "Not Crying" with Boo and Me

I even feel pretty good about Boo's last day, when mom gave him my Christmas bone.

She said I could have it after he was gone, and that he wouldn't do much damage to it since he really didn't feel great. She was right. Six months ago there'd have been nothing but a stub after ten minutes. He had it to himself all day, and I had to stay in mom and dad's room because mom didn't want me bugging him, and he barely touched it.

I don't know what will happen next. I kind of like being an only dog. I get to do more stuff because mom doesn't feel so bad leaving Boo behind. This weekend I went for a hike in the woods, dug in the garden with mom, and laid outside while mom and dad had a fire and drank wine. I like it. But it's lonely. A young brother or sister could be outside too, and dig, and hike, and give me someone to play with. Boo hasn't played in a long while. But at the same time, mom says her heart is all torn up, whatever that means, and she isn't sure she's ready to let some new dog chew more holes in it.

She's wrong, and she'll figure that out soon I am sure. She's already let so many dogs chew holes in it that she should know by now - the more holes we make in her heart, the bigger her heart gets. 

And who couldn't use a bigger heart, right?